July 23, 2011 Subject:
Easily one of the best
I totally agree. If you like the pre-Code jazz BB's that were full of energy and imagination, this one really satisfies. Except...wasn't there a version here on IA that was larger than 320x240, and encoded at a higher bitrate? (I can't seem to find it, now.) This one gets blurry when I try to enlarge it enough to see everything. Oh well, one has to be grateful for what one can get. 5 stars, otherwise.
September 21, 2010 Subject:
One of the best
One of the best Betty Boop cartoons . Don Redman & His Orchestra's play a slightly creepy Chant of the Weed in waltz time and an infectious How'm I Doin' masterfully choreographed by the Fleischer's . The artwork and story boarding are incredible . A true piece of Americana .
December 11, 2009 Subject:
First of all it's "I Heard"...
Second, this is easily one of the ten best Betty Boop shorts in the series (especially if you like the jazz-themed ones). This 1932 short opens with a live-action bit of Don Redman & His Orchestra playing "Chant Of The Weed". I believe that record is in the audio files section on Internet Archive. The animated part begins with an establishing shot of a coal mine just as lunch break begins. You'll notice that all action is synched to the next number "How'm I Doin'?" from the miners strut to the way their living shuttle curves around obstacles on its way to Betty's cafe. A waiter serves the miners plus an assortment of Fleischer-styled animals lunch while singing Don's part of "How'm I Doin'?" until Betty takes over upon her entrance in this short. Betty apparently has a stake in both the cafe and the mine. The whistle signals lunch is over, and almost all the miners are back to work on time. Koko(the clown) and Bimbo(the dog) ride an elevator to the bottom of the shaft, splitting up in a way that could only happen in a cartoon. Bimbo breaks some of the rock in the tunnel he's digging which reveals a hidden cave where ghosts play baseball with Don's orchestra providing sound effects. The old horsehide isn't good enough for these guys, they are using a bomb! Bimbo runs and tells the other miners as "I Heard" begins. Betty sings the bridge as she indicates she's going down there to take a look for herself. As Bimbo and Betty get there, the bomb is hit through the hole Bimbo made. The ghosts chase the two after discovering their presence, lighting the bomb and throwing it at them. Bimbo and Betty escape up the elevator with the bomb on top of the car, fuse still burning. Earlier this same elevator was raised and lowered on a giraffe's head, now it's run by a rope and winch! Bimbo quickly lowers the soon-to-explode bomb back down the shaft which throws loads of coal into waiting railroad cars and also throws the ghosts high into the sky to land in waiting graves which close over them, ending the short.
Several corny sight and musical gags are used in this short, but they come so fast most folks who haven't seen "I Heard" before won't expect them. You may not even catch all of the the first time through! The same bizarre humor and tortured laws of physics that would remain typical of Fleischer Studios shorts until the mid-thirties are ubiquitous here. For this reason, people either love these shorts or they just don't get them. Hope you enjoy, I tried not to spoil the best gags for you.